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Thread: Smart Alec

  1. #1
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    Talking smart alec love

    I've been surprised at how large and at the same time compact the Smart Alec is. What I mean by that is that it is able to hold more than I think it can, and at the same time, it feels less heavy on my back given the load. The bungee cord is great for when I have a small load and need to make the backpack smaller, or when the backpack is full to use the cord to hold my jacket.

    At various times, this is what I was able to fit in it:

    For a trip:
    Macbook
    Freudian slip (vertical) - love the organization!
    cords
    paperback novel
    digital camera
    knitting project
    wallet
    passport
    cosmetic case
    water bottle
    umbrella
    first aid kit

    For a commute:
    TWO Macbooks in neoprene sleeves plus cords for both
    wallet
    keys/whistle/flashlight
    pocket moleskine
    cosmetic bag
    pocket moleskine
    large moleskine
    cosmetic bag

    For filing my dissertation:
    two reams of paper
    wallet
    keys
    camera
    (there was still room at the top for a light sweater)

  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Smart Alec

    In this thread, post a list or pictures of What You Carry in your Smart Alec. We will add your packing list to the Smart Alec page to help give other people a better idea of what the bag can hold.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  3. #3
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    i used the smart alec as my personal item on a recent vacation, and this is what went into it:

    iPhone
    iPod & headphones
    charger & adaptor
    physical therapy resistance tube
    passport
    wallet/pouch with ID, credit card, cash
    lip balm & tinted lip balm
    gum
    notebook & pen
    luna bars/builder bar/fruit leather
    VegNews stack (bunch of magazines)
    3 books
    scarf/sarong
    glasses
    sunglasses
    liquid/gel toiletries (in 1-qt. ziploc bag)

    ... we also used it when we did a few excursions during our trip, and we usually packed it with things like:

    2 beach towels
    2 swimsuits
    sunblock
    2 pr. sunglasses
    guide book
    snacks
    water
    2 iPhones
    2 passports
    1 pouch (my "wallet" with ID, lip balm, etc.)

    now that we're home, i use it for my "going to campus" bag, so it's being used more traditionally:

    15" macbook pro (in brain cell)
    1 liter sigg bottle
    1 book
    2-3 journals
    my lunch
    wallet
    iPhone
    pouch with lip balm, gum, flash drive, etc.
    and *plenty* of room to spare!

  4. #4
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    Will I be able to fit a 17" MBP in a brain cell into this bag?

  5. #5
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eVolcre View Post
    Will I be able to fit a 17" MBP in a brain cell into this bag?
    Yes! The Size 1 Vertical Brain Cell (a perfect fit for your 17" MBP) will clip securely inside of the Smart Alec.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Yes! The Size 1 Vertical Brain Cell (a perfect fit for your 17" MBP) will clip securely inside of the Smart Alec.
    Cool. Thanks! Now I need to figure out what to do with my Empire Builder and HORIZONTAL brain cell.

    Just out of curiosity, if I turn the horizontal and prop it in there vertically, would it give me any protection at all?

    Kris

  7. #7
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    the wait for my Smart Alex (ordered a month ago!) is killing me. The backorder just got pushed back to LATE July. ughhhh *complain complain complain*

  8. #8
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leviathan View Post
    the wait for my Smart Alex (ordered a month ago!) is killing me. The backorder just got pushed back to LATE July. ughhhh *complain complain complain*
    I'm sorry about the further delay. A combination of things - mostly that we're waiting to receive materials needed to make the Smart Alec and those won't be in until the first week of July - led to the delay. We're doing everything we can!
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  9. #9
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eVolcre View Post
    Just out of curiosity, if I turn the horizontal and prop it in there vertically, would it give me any protection at all?
    Yes, for sure. Just not the same level of protection you'd get if you used the Brain Cell in its proper format. Also, it will be somewhat of a pain to remove your laptop from the bag that way.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    I'm sorry about the further delay. A combination of things - mostly that we're waiting to receive materials needed to make the Smart Alec and those won't be in until the first week of July - led to the delay. We're doing everything we can!
    I know you are, no worries, Darcy. I'm not complaining about you all. Just the wait.

  11. #11
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leviathan View Post
    I know you are, no worries, Darcy. I'm not complaining about you all. Just the wait.
    I completely understand! We don't like these waits either, and we are trying to come up with some solutions.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    I completely understand! We don't like these waits either, and we are trying to come up with some solutions.
    Any idea how soon these are shipping?

  13. #13
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    I finally got to test the full extent and ability of my new Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec this past weekend. I was asked to head out on a last minute adventure selling merch for pop-rock band Switchfoot. I was out for 3 1/2 days including stops in Atlantic City, NJ, New York, NY, and Hampton Beach, NH. I traveled by bus, train, plane, and car. And I lived out of one backpack for the duration of the trip. Which is saying a lot for me. I'm a heavy packer. Here's my list:

    - Smart Alec backpack
    - 13" Macbook
    - 13" Incase neoprene Macbook sleeve
    - Macbook charger
    - Toshiba 320 GB external passport hard drive
    - USB cable
    - iPhone charger cable
    - Canon Rebel XT with a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 wide angle lens attached
    - USB transfer cable (for the camera)
    - 2 lithium-ion batteries (for the camera)
    - screen cleaning cloth

    - 2 t-shirts
    - 2 button up plaid shirts
    - 1 pair of shorts
    - 3 pairs of boxer briefs
    - 5 pairs of ankle socks
    - 1 zip up hoodie
    - 1 "cab driver's" hat
    - 1 necklace
    - 1 pair of sunglasses w/ case
    - wallet
    - emergency money in another pocket ($5 and whatever change I accumulate)

    - 3 magazines (latest issues of Wired, Popular Photography, and Maxim)
    - pens and a sharpie
    - house keys
    - safety kit (a ziplock bag containing: bandaids, advil, claritin, neosporin)
    - shower supplies (another ziplock bag with travel size soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and my toothbrush)
    - hair straightener (kept in the water bottle pocket (boys have unruly hair too))
    - earplugs and case
    - poncho (which I used yesterday in NH as the tropical storm was hitting the coast)

    All that and I STILL had a little room to spare at the top. Plus I had the set of clothes i was wearing at any given time including another shirt, another pair of socks, boxer briefs, and a pair of jeans and a belt. I considered myself traveling light. I didn't leave or forget anything behind and I felt like I was fully prepared for everything that could have come my way.

    Thank's for an awesome bag. Can't wait for the camera insert. I nestled my baby Rebel in a cushion made out of all of my clothes I packed. haha

  14. #14
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    Leviathan: good lord..that is quite a bit to pack into that bag!!! Did you use a cube of any sort to put your clothes in? I have been looking at the Smart Alec for a while--mostly, I am tempted cos the zippers are inward, and is much less theft prone than a standard backpack especially on mass transit. I am impressed that the Canon went in with the lens along with the Mac.
    A question about the Mac in the neoprene case: was that adequate padding for what you were doing? and how easy was it to retrieve in and out for security?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    Leviathan: good lord..that is quite a bit to pack into that bag!!! Did you use a cube of any sort to put your clothes in? I have been looking at the Smart Alec for a while--mostly, I am tempted cos the zippers are inward, and is much less theft prone than a standard backpack especially on mass transit. I am impressed that the Canon went in with the lens along with the Mac.
    A question about the Mac in the neoprene case: was that adequate padding for what you were doing? and how easy was it to retrieve in and out for security?
    No cubes of any sort. Just careful folding. Dirty clothes went in a grocery bag at the bottom, fresh clothes closer to the top. And I surrounded my camera with various pieces of clothing for transport. The bag is huge. Way bigger than I expected it to be.

    My last backpack, bought at Target, had a dedicated "laptop pocket" closest to your back. It was a slim pocket and my computer and sleeve just slid right in. My only qualm with the neoprene case right now is that if my bag isn't stuffed it slides around. I can't afford a Brain Cell just yet, so I'll have to deal. Access to it was pretty easy. I used the magazines I took along for the trip as a barrier between the computer and the clothes. So even when I took the computer out of the bag, my pack still maintained it's basic shape.

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